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Thursday, June 20, 2024

BOAKAI ADMINISTRATION UNDER FIRE FOR UNLISTED DELEGATION MEMBERS AND TRANSPARENCY LAPSES

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – In stark contrast to President Joseph Boakai’s professed commitment to transparency and accountability, recent events have cast a shadow over his administration. The controversy centers on Press Secretary Madam Kula Bonah Nyei Fofana. Despite her name being omitted from the official nine-member delegation list released by the President’s office, Madam Fofana was seen accompanying President Boakai at the recently concluded US-Africa Business Summit in Dallas, Texas, held on May 6-9, 2024.

Madam Fofana’s presence in the United States prompted questions about her purpose there, especially since she was not listed in the official Liberian delegation to the US-Africa Business Summit. Allegedly, Fofana was excluded from the official travel list due to allegations of ineffective performance, leaving the public to wonder whether her visit to the US was related to government functions.

However, the released names of the official delegation included: Honorable Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Honorable Amin Modad, Minister of Commerce & Industry; Honorable Alexander Nuetah, Minister of Agriculture; Honorable Wilmot Paye, Minister of Mines and Energy; Honorable Jerolinmek Piah, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism; Honorable Jeff Blibo, National Investment Commission Chairman; Honorable Richardson Ndorbor, Liberia Telecommunications Corporation Managing Director; Honorable Antoinette Wolo, Acting Chief of Protocol; and Honorable Sahr Johnny, Sr. Economic Advisor.

This discrepancy has drawn mounting public criticism for misleading information on a listing that did not reflect the actual number of attendees. The use of taxpayer money for the trip, which included unlisted individuals, has not been addressed since the delegation’s return.

The issue was further highlighted during Information Minister Jerolinmek Matthew Piah’s appearance on Spoon Talk on Sunday, May 19. When directly asked how Press Secretary Kula Bonah Nyei Fofana, along with others whose names did not appear on the official delegation list, managed to attend the event in the US, Minister Piah failed to provide an explanation, casting doubt on the ruling Unity Party’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

Additionally, when Minister Piah was asked about the amount of US dollars allocated in the budget for the trip, he failed to provide a specific figure. He stated that he was not the person to speak to that matter but promised to contact those responsible and provide the information.

Howbeit, this incident raises serious concerns about the Boakai administration’s transparency and the apparent lack of accountability regarding the use of public funds. The failure to provide a clear explanation for the unlisted delegation members undermines public trust and calls into question the administration’s commitment to its own principles.

Despite these allegations, the office of President Boakai’s Press Secretary has remained silent on the matter, further fueling suspicions and leaving the Liberian public in the dark. Critics argue that the people of Liberia deserve to be informed and expect honesty from their leaders at all times. The controversy surrounding President Boakai’s delegation highlights the importance of accountability and transparency in governance.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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